Keynote Speakers

Thaddeus O’Sullivan:

Was born in Dublin and received an M.A. in film and television from the Royal College of Art. He started to work in the film industry as a cinematographer and worked on a variety of projects throughout the 1970s and ’80s. He made his directorial debut in 1987 with the critically acclaimed short fiction film The Woman who Married Clark Gable which received a BAFTA nomination. He followed this in 1990 with his first full length feature, December Bride, for which he won the Special Jury Prize at the European Film Awards. His career as a director has gone from strength to strength as he followed December Bride with a variety of feature, TV films and mini-series including:  Nothing Personal; Witness to the Mob (TV); Ordinary Decent Criminal (with Kevin Spacey and Peter Mullan); The Heart of Me (with Helen Bonham Carter); Silent Witness (TV); and Into the Storm (IFTA award for Best Director: TV, TV – Primetime Emmy nomination: Best Director). He was nominated for the Best Director award: Film for his latest release Stella Days, which will be screened during the conference.

Tamar Jeffers MacDonald:

Is a Senior Lecturer that studied English at Somerville College, Oxford, before turning to cinema and taking a diploma (Birkbeck), MA (Westminster) and then PhD (Warwick) in film. Her thesis at Warwick was on filmic strategies for representing virginity in 1950s Hollywood, considering the emergence of the then-topical figure, the desirous virgin, and contrasting this figure with the sexually experienced Career Woman, often played by Doris Day. She taught  part-time sessions at Birkbeck and Warwick, where she began teaching film full-time in September 2003 at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. In 2006 she joined the film department at Oxford Brookes and in 2007 arrived at Kent, where she now teaches. In autumn term 2010 she simultaneously held the positions of Director of Graduate Studies for Film and for the whole School of Arts. She has published several articles and books:

– (2010) Hollywood Catwalk: Reading Costume and Transformation in American Film. London: I B Tauris. ISBN: 1-848850409. 256pp.

– (2009) ‘Hommecom: engendering change in American romantic comedy’ in Stacey Abbott and Deborah Jermyn (eds) Falling in Love Again: Romantic Comedy in Contemporary Cinema. London: I. B. Tauris.  146-159. ISBN: 1-845117719.

–  (2007) Romantic Comedy: Boy meets Girl meets Genre. London: Wallflower Press. ISBN: 1-905674-02-3. 134pp.

Mário Jorge Torres:

Is Associate Professor and Researcher in the Centre for Comparative Studies at the Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon. One of the leading Portuguese names in the field of film studies, he has taught extensively on various aspects of cinema, both at graduate and post graduate levels for many years. He is one of the most relevant contemporary Portuguese film critics, having written regularly for Ípsilon the cultural supplement of the well known national newspaper Público. He has published extensively on different aspects of cinema including American cinema, genre, the star system, melodrama, European cinema, literature & cinema, among others. Some of his most relevant recent publications include:

– (Spring 2010)’ The Phosphorescence of Edgar Allan Poe on Film: Roger Corman’s The Masque of the Red Death’, Edgar Allan Poe Review, , Volume XI, Number 1, pp. 182-192.

– (2008) ACT 17: Não vi o livro, mas li o filme, Húmus, Vila Nova de Famalicão.

– (2007) Concerto das Artes (org.), Porto, Campo das Letras.

Morris Beja is Professor Emeritus at the Ohio State University, where he is the recipient of the University’s Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award; he chaired the Department of English for eleven years. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece; University College Dublin, Ireland; Northwestern University, U.S.A.; and Beijing Foreign Studies University, China. Among the honors he has received are a Guggenheim Fellowship and two Fulbright Lectureships. His books include Epiphany in the Modern Novel, Film and Literature, James Joyce: A Literary Life, and Tell Us About . . . A Memoir. He has edited a scholarly edition of Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway as well as volumes of essays on James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, and Orson Welles, and is the author of numerous essays on film and on Irish, British, and American fiction. He founded the International Virginia Woolf Society and is Executive Secretary and past President of the International James Joyce Founda­tion, which presented him a Lifetime Service Award on Bloomsday, 2010. He has directed or co-directed numerous international conferences, one on Beckett and seven on Joyce, including Bloomsday 100, the International James Joyce Symposium in Dublin, June 2004.


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